Sunday, November 15, 2015

Johnny Two Bags; Scott H. Biram; Jesse Dayton @ Mercury Lounge

Johnny Two Bags; Scott H. Biram; Jesse Dayton
@ Mercury Lounge
New York, NY - November 14, 2015

Who knew that the very act of going to a show could constitute a political act? Well that's a dumb question considering human nature, but it may nevertheless be true. 24 hours after people in Paris found themselves in harm's way just for doing this very thing, some of us took heart in doing that which we want to do. In many respects, there isn't a finer articulation of doing what you want to do than the collection of rebel outlaw off-the-beaten path country-punk-rock genres that came from just one place: America. A lot of it, Texas. Truths, the good kind, were in full display at this gig.

I saw Jesse Dayton not too far back in time when he opened and played with John Doe at a free thing in a loading dock. It may not have happened yesterday but I never forgot his rich voice, or his Rob Zombie Hollywood movie connection story, or his contribution to the American Songbook - "I'm at Home Getting Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed)" (all of which thankfully were repeated tonight). But at this gig, we got the full measure - the door-busting stomp and swagger packed with sincerity and 100% natural talent.

The work of Scott H. Biram is no stranger to this place. But speaking of time gone by, his facial hair is gray now, making it starker to remember that first time at CBGB's (the place where I also saw Eagles of Death Metal, if you want some fuller context for why this was a special night to be plain and simple). Scott made fun of his more recent mellowing out, not acknowledging that such music let out the secret - the man has a taste for good sounds where he finds it. Shit, Biram, it can't be "Raising Hell" all the time (though it's good when you do). There's room for Chester Burnett, metal, and gospel all in this crazy world and you're just doing your bit. And thank you for saying what some of us know to be true: Sure, New York City can't do barbecue but that's OK because we have Katz's.

Johnny Two Bags, off duty from Social D, brought his Southern California style (and distaste for temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit) to the proceedings, including making use of his intimacy of The U.S. Bombs and the Swingin' Utters to pump up his productive efforts.


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